I’ve been home a couple of days now. But, work piled up while I was gone. So, now that I'm semi-caught up, I can tell you about the last day of the conference!
Today started a little differently than the other days I was in Chicago. What was so different about this day’s beginning, you may ask? IT WAS AT 8 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING!!! In fact, each day we were at the conference, the sessions started progressively earlier. You would think that since the target audience is the artistic community, Willow would know that we are notorious for not enjoying rising with the sun. Or, in this case, rising with the 8 o’clock morning news.
Anyway, my roommate at the Baymont Inn, Jim, our technical arts director, and I decided to sleep in a tad and miss the first session so that we could instead go and purchase a thank you gift for Rod, our worship purpose pastor, who brought us to the conference. OK guys, I have to be honest here. We totally did go and buy Rod a nice sketchbook moleskin from Barnes & Noble, but we had an ulterior motive in going out too. We wanted to go to Caribou Coffee. This place has got to be one of the sweetest coffee houses I’ve ever seen. And I used to work in a coffee house too. So, we got Rod this awesome moleskin, had each member of the team decorate a page with a letter in the word “thanks”, and gave it to him once we got back. He loved it!
But, I digress…
So, Jim and I skipped the first session. Which, for me, was supposed to be Resolving Conflict. I forgot who it was taught by. Rod said two people on Willow’s staff. I signed up for this breakout because, at the time of registration, I was in a conflict with someone. However, the conflict got worked out before I left for the conference, so I don’t feel that bad about missing this session!
The second breakout of the day, we made it to. And, believe me, I am SUPER glad that we did. It was an arts showcase put on by Granger Community Church. If you’ve never heard of Granger, it’s probably because they’re in a very small town in Indiana. But they are rocking the face off of that little town. Not only that, but they’re rocking the face off of church culture itself with their amazing weekend services. Don’t believe me? Stop reading this right now and go to their media player (located at the top right-hand side of the page) and watch their 2005 year-in-review (in the “other” section). Go ahead. I’ll wait…
See?! What did I tell you?!
Anyway, the guys from Granger, Tim Stevens and Butch Whitmire, had some awesome things to say about programming their weekend services. Their philosophy, their methods, their execution, all completely thought out and done right. It totally inspires me.
After we get done with the breakout sessions, we go back to the main campus for one last main session with Nancy Beach. I feel like I should say this again: I really loved hearing Nancy speak. I felt like I really could connect with what she was saying. So this last session was kind of a rallying cry of encouragement to everybody. We finished out with communion and a “go around the circle and tell the person to your left why you love having them on your team” exercise.
And that was it.
We flew back to San Diego.
I have to say, that I would highly recommend this conference to anyone who considers themselves involved in anything creative. Whether in vocation or recreation. It was truly a blessing to me and to my team.
My only regret was not getting to eat White Castle while I was there. But I'll live...
Thanks so much, Willow, for all you do!
I’ve got to try that sand painting…